actual play podcasts worth relistening to
Over the past few days, I’ve been relistening to the One Shot podcast’s October 2018 Kids on Bikes episodes (which starts here). There’s so much to love about this six-episode series. I remembered enjoying the characters and the players, but it wasn’t until this morning that I remembered the perfect moment where one player describes the biblical Jacob as “history’s best angel fighter” and summons him to help a science teacher fight off a terrifying seraphim (which I promise makes sense in context).
This isn’t the only actual play podcast I’ve been relistening to recently. I’m in a weird moment with podcasts, where keeping up with my regular subsciptions is continuing to add anxiety rather than enjoyment to my life, so I’m still listening to audio media, but I’m choosing what I want to listen to instead of feeling obligated to listen to every episode that drops. I’m considering taking a month-ish long break from podcasts altogether for Advent this year, but that’s a different story.
Also from the One Shot podcast network, I recently listened to the four episode run that the Adventure podcast did adapting Masks: A New Generation for a one-shot adventure based on Animorphs. I haven’t read those books in years, but they left such an impression that this felt like the perfect combination of childhood nostalgia and TTRPG nerdiness. It’s clear the players loved the books, too, and the adventure comes off as an incredible homage.
Also also from the One Shot network, I’ve more slowly been working my way through the original run of their Campaign podcast, run using Fantasy Flight’s Star Wars roleplaying game. This remains one of the most hilarious and engaging actual play series I’ve ever listened to—their commitment to Star Wars roleplaying and their own improvised canon is just impressive.
As a whole, the One Shot podcasts are pretty hit and miss for me. They do a lot that’s bounced off me, but it’s clear from my recent relistening that there are a lot of hits, too! These aren’t the only series to be catching my attention, though. I’m honestly surprised to like anything coming out of Penny Arcade, but their A.V. Club series of Tales from the Loop actual play is perfect. I’ve been wanting to get into TftL for ages, and these episodes have only strengthened that view. This is also the time of year where I’d normally be relistening to Total Party Kill’s Shocktober episodes set in the Seyvoth Manor adventure—both runthroughs are great, each running 3-4 consecutive Octobers, which becomes itself a running joke. I used to listen to all the episodes leading up to the current year, but since they’re not doing the Seyvoth Manor adventure anymore, I’m taking a break this year.
- actual play
- One Shot
- Tales from the Loop
- Star Wars
- Kids on Bikes
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